Dry January Could Save You $480 - Compare Your Savings Based on Your Drinking Habits

It turns out, skipping alcohol can be good for finances.
Updated June 6, 2024
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As the confetti settles and the echoes of New Year's celebrations fade, resolutions take center stage. For many, the tradition of Dry January emerges as a common health trend after the holidays, offering a break from the holiday revelry and a fresh start to the year. But what about the financial impact of this alcohol-free endeavor? Let's uncork the numbers and explore the savings you could be toasting to during Dry January.

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The buzz around Dry January

Dry January, a trend gaining momentum each year, challenges individuals to abstain from alcohol for the entire month. The benefits touted include increased energy, improved concentration, better sleep, and even a potential boost to your complexion. While the road to a dry month may be lined with withdrawal symptoms, the rewards for your body and mind are often well worth it.

For those who find going completely dry a formidable task, the 'Damp January' concept surfaces as a more flexible alternative. Dr. Katie Witkiewitz of the University of New Mexico suggests that any reduction in alcohol intake can yield positive results, making 'going damp' a viable option for those not ready to embrace complete abstinence.

Options for dampening the alcohol flow include limiting consumption to special occasions, scheduling 'dry days' in the month, or simply cutting down on the quantity consumed when the mood strikes. The overarching goal remains the same — reduce alcohol intake for a healthier start to the year and get ahead financially.

Calculating the Dry January dividends

Apart from the obvious health benefits, there's another aspect of Dry January that might bring a sparkle to your eyes: the impact on your finances. Going out for drinks, especially after the holiday season, can dent your wallet considerably. With the rise of pricey libations, from pints to cocktails, the financial strain becomes a notable part of the drinking experience.

Enter the Dry January Savings Calculator, a tool designed to unveil the potential financial windfall of abstaining from alcohol for a month. Creditfix, a financial services company, crunched the numbers based on the average cost of drinks in the UK. Let's dive into some scenarios and see how Dry January can help keep more cash in your wallet.

Scenario 1: The Lager Lover

If you're a lager fan and typically consume around ten pints a week, the average cost being $6.34 per pint, you could spend approximately $253.49 a month on your beloved beverage. 

Scenario 2: The Cocktail Connoisseur

The savings could be even more substantial for those with a penchant for cocktails, known for their heftier price tags. At $12 each, you could save $480 or more! The calculator lets you estimate your monthly spending based on your cocktail consumption.

Scenario 3: The Social Drinker

If your drinking habits involve regular outings for an after-work drink or two, the cumulative effect on your wallet becomes evident. The calculator considers the number of times you visit pubs or bars weekly and the average cost of your drinks.

Maxine McCreadie, Debt Advice Specialist at Creditfix, emphasizes the potential savings. "Many people regularly shell out at least [$6] for a drink in a bar, and it can quickly add up, especially if you’re used to popping for one after work."

The cost of this could vary wildly, depending on how much you drink. A single drink per week might cost you $6 - $12 per week or up to $50 per month, while one drinking night out could cost you up to $240 per month. 

Health and wealth: A Dry January double whammy

The financial benefits of Dry January extend beyond the immediate savings. McCreadie notes, "This month-long break can not only help improve your health and wellbeing but improve your bank balance and savings ahead of the festive season, too."

With the average cost of drinks steadily climbing and the frequency of social outings contributing to the bar tab, Dry January becomes a dual remedy — a detox for your body and a financial tonic for your wallet.

Bottom line

As you embark on this alcohol-free journey, raise a glass (of water or a mocktail) to the potential savings and another way to avoid wasting money. Your liver may not be the only one thanking you at the end of Dry January; your wallet might just join in the chorus of appreciation. Whether you're a lager lover, cocktail enthusiast, or a casual social drinker, the calculator unveils the financial impact of your drinking habits, providing yet another reason to savor the rewards of a dry start to the year. Cheers to health, wealth, and a spirited Dry January!

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Author Details

Georgina Tzanetos Georgina Tzanetos is a former financial advisor who has been active in financial media for the past six years. She holds a master's in political economy from NYU, where she studied distressed labor markets.